Today, 400 megabytes of extra Subnautica went coursing through the pipes of Steam. Evidently, we changed something! Over the past month, we’ve been working on the Crash Site update. We haven’t released that today.
The Aurora is not yet ready to explode. ‘Reaper Leviathan’ Artificial Intelligence is coming along nicely, radiation suits are being prepared, debris fields are growing. There’s lots of work still to be done, and as usual we don’t know when any of this will be finished.
In the course of preparing the Crash Site update, we’ve made substantial improvements to the underlying game. For example, memory usage has been slashed drastically. This is crucial, because ballooning memory use is a major cause of crashes, and crashes suck.
All of these improvements make a big difference to how Subnautica plays. They make the game better. Instead of waiting until the Crash Site update is ready, we’ve decided to release them now. The update you received today doesn’t have a particular focus: It just fixes lots of things, and makes stuff work better.
Throughout the update, you will find hints of things to come. For example, a new ‘paper doll’ style inventory interface has been added to the PDA (Open your PDA with the tab key). This interface allows you to drag and drop items onto a representation of yourself. For example to equip fins, you drag fins from your inventory onto the legs of the ‘paper doll.’
Not only will Subnautica crash less, thanks to memory-use optimisations, it will also crash more politely. Before today, memory crashes arrived unexpectedly and without mercy. Any unsaved progress was lost. Now, the game will warn you when it expects it is about to crash. This gives you a chance to save the game before the apocalypse. Not all crashes will be caught in this manner, but we’re working hard to resolve those too.
As is the case with all Subnautica updates, there’s more packed in than we can possibly talk about. Visit the Subnautica Trello board and the Checkin & Changes list to see comprehensive information about what has gone into the game. We’ll be talking more in depth about what’s changed in Subnautica recently when we release the Crash Site update, some time this April.